Overwhelming fountains of water shot 30 meters up into the sky before crashing down with tremendous noise onto NASA’s Launch Complex 39B at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
The space agency recently released a video of one of the so-called deluge tests conducted on October 15, which rendered it possible to enjoy the show afterwards.
Such tests of the "Ignition Overpressure Protection and Sound Suppression" system are part of the work NASA is conducting to prepare for liftoffs of the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) mega-rocket, which is slated to fly on its first mission in mid-2020. NASA’s capsule is scheduled at the time to conduct a 21-day crewless trek around the moon.
"During the launch of Exploration Mission-1 and subsequent missions, this water-deluge system will release approximately 450,000 gallons [1.7 million liters] of water across the mobile launcher and flame deflector to reduce the extreme heat and energy generated by the rocket during ignition and liftoff," NASA officials detailed in a description of the recent flow test at Pad 39B.